Saturday, August 23, 2008


      Maybe it is scandalous for me to even write this down.  Maybe, just maybe this isn't the place for me to bare my soul. But I am without a priest on this Friday evening, so I will just plow ahead (oh, and also...I am not Catholic, so...right).  Is it safe? Is it secret?  Well no, this isn't secret, considering that anybody can read this blog.  And then form opinions.  About (gasp) me.  But here's the thing: first we bring something into the light, and then we get better, right?  Perhaps even get rid of it?  Okay, so....deep breath...Um, uh, well...

       I pick my lip.  

        I can't remember when it started, or even why.  But, I am pretty sure that I do it when I am tense, nervous, or just deeply pondering something.  How does one even pick a lip, you might ask--well, maybe I shouldn't tell you, considering that you could then form the habit, too...But, since I don't know anybody else who does this, I am going to trust that you are not itching to jump on the bandwagon.  Huh, the word bandwagon makes it sound really fun--like the wagon that you ride at Millburn Orchards in autumn; the sky is just growing dark and the leaves are winking brightly in their newly-turned colors while you sit in the hay and try not to think about how hard it will be to eventually pick every piece of hay from your dry-clean-only wool sweater and the braid that your hair is wound into. Only, a bandwagon should be better--with musicians in funny tights (not just tights, though, ew) and old fashioned instruments playing tunes to add festivity to your ride.  

     Yeah, that would be nice, but, this bandwagon--my bandwagon--is very lonely.  It's just me and my picked over lip.  Believe me, you don't wanna join me here.  

      Right, so I just pick at the skin on my lip--sometimes even until it bleeds.  Usually, that makes me stop, which is a good sign, I guess.  And if Drew is around me when I do this, he will just take my hand and hold it, effectively causing me to stop picking my lip.  However, Drew isn't around me much these days...But that's another blog.  Oh, and wearing lipstick helps, too, because I don't like getting lipstick on my fingernails.  But, I can't wear lipstick all the time!

      Just thought I would confess a vice.   

      And since I am confessing, maybe I should confess this, too: I kind of really like picking my lip.  In a strange way, it feels good.  Or maybe it's soothing.  But, I do draw a line (which is when it starts bleeding), so I am not a freak.  

     And you want to know what else is in my bandwagon--besides my picked-over lip, that is?  Well, two very soft, might-not-be-any-cartilage-left ears.  See, I like to take my ear--any part of it, really--twist it up till it gets really small, and stick it into my ear canal (you know, the hole that you hear out of).  Now, I have done this since I was tiny; I would stick my ear into my ear with one hand, and use the finger of the other hand to suck on.  I don't suck on my finger anymore, but I do still stick my ear in my ear.  It still feels great--especially when the ear is a little cooler, if you must know.  

    And horror of horrors--lately, I have been getting the urge to do my ear trick on stage! Yeah, I have had to suppress that and try to focus a little harder on what is going on in the scene...As they say so eloquently in High Musical, I gotta get my head in the game... 

    So, those are two of my vices, or bad habits, if you will.  I am not sure that I am quite ready to give them up--because I still enjoy both of them.  I actually don't see a problem with my ear-trick, as my family calls it; but the lip-picking is bad considering it makes my lip bleed.  

   Do you guys have any weird habits like this?  Or am I the only one?  

    And now, leaving my weird habits alone for the moment, I will leave you with two pictures I like from my time with Drew:

    This one reminds me of Wesley, from The Princess Bride, when he climbed that very tall cliff, only to be met by the Spaniard who was waiting to fence him.  Luckily for Drew, I was the only one waiting to meet him, and I do not know how to fence and am not Spanish.
  And this one I like because it's our secret cave that we found on Sunset Cliffs.  There is so much intrigue and mystery involved with a cave to begin with, but then to add me and Drew to the equation makes it just about perfect.  I also feel like my haircut makes my ears look a little pointy, a little elven--and I LOVE elves (the Lord of the Rings kind, who are tall and nimble and well, Legolas. I have always had a crush on Legolas, and Drew is okay with that.  Actually, people are usually like, Oh--you like Orlando Bloom, the actor who played Legolas?  And I am like, No-I like Legolas, the fictitious elf. But in reality, I like Drew better...).  

   But anyway, this, in a nutshell, is why I like this picture: cave+Drew+me+elf ears=totally awesome.  


Mom said...

I have, for a long time, believed you are an elf--at least there must be some "elf" generations past and you inherited it. But not the elfish inheritance that Grimms Fairy Tales depicts-short, grumpy, impish creatures, but the elves from Tolkien. I don't know who has elves in their background--Pop or I--but I think it must be me with the Cornish background. Talking about inheritance, you inherited that "picking the lip" from Mimi. At least you didn't get her height or rather, her "shorth"

merry said...

You+drew+elf ears=hilarious. Um, do you remember the time a long time ago when I said, "you do something strange with your lip" and you asked me to demonstrate and I did and you said,"EW that looks horrible". It doesn't really look horrible. It isn't that big of a deal. I completely understand the ear thing. I always hold my ears wen I am scared. It is weird like I think something can't get me if I can't hear it.

Anonymous said...

I don't suck my thumb anymore, but I still rub my belly when I am nervous or just in need of comfort. It is just so soft and comforting. My son also rubs his belly when he is trying to get to sleep so maybe strange habits are genetic. Anyway, I am leaving this anon, but anyone who grew up with me knows who I am!

kathiek said...

I ruffle, smooth, and straighten my hair at various times throughout the day...not because it needs it, just because. Sometimes I rub my ear lobe, usually just the left one. It is very soft. It is not something I do when I am nervous or tense, it is just an absent-minded thing I do occasionally.

When I get in bed at night, everything has to be just so. I have to arrange my pillow, my covers, myself just the right way. John compares it to what puppies or kittens do when they are getting ready to sleep. You know, how they walk around and around in a circle on their blanket? Sometimes I will do it several times before I am satisfied that everything is just right. John then asks me, "Are you done nesting?" Once in a while, he will be a brat and pull on a cover, or flick my hair, or poke me...then I have to start all over again and he will laugh and sometimes say, "You're too much!"

Jessica Latshaw said...

Oh right--I forgot that Mimi picked her lip--kinda weird that I "inherited that!"

Merry--that is so funny! I totally forgot that exchange--thanks for being brave enough to tell me the truth!

Pop said...

Merry, when I was really young I used be terrified every night when I went to bed so I completely buried myself in the bedcovers with just the tiniest air hole in the blankets open to the outside world. See, for me, if I couldn't SEE the bad thing, it couldn't get me!

Jess, I have loads of weird habits. When I had hair above my forehead I "pulled" it--just twisted a few longer strands into a knot and pulled so hard my scalp hurt. I even do that now occasionally with the remaining hair on the sides or back of my head when it gets long enough.

I also eat way too fast and way, way too noisily, with my mouth mostly open. I leave the dinner table and rooms with people around without bothering to say that I'm leaving or where or why I'm going away. I leave TVs and stereos on in rooms I leave, sometime for many hours. I severly slouch in chairs. I apparently look grumpy when I'm trying to look interested. And (this is almost too normal to mention) I bite my nails.

Yes, I should be in therapy.

kathiek said...

The first step on the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem! ;-)

jason said...

I touch my bellybutton a lot. I figure what else is it there for?

Peaj said...

When I need comfort, I just eat. Not the best way to cope.

I totally see the elf thing. I always thought the half-face shot of you on the VCF "business card" to be very elfish. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was deliberately so.

After the Lord of the Rings movies came out, I used to pinch my kids' ears so that they pointed a bit and told them that they would make great elves. They appropriately rolled their eyes at me.

I told my daughter about the ear-in-the-canal thing, and she tried it. She said that it felt pretty good, but now her ear hurts.

ClaudiaC said...

There is no way I can fit my entire ear in my ear canal. It is way too fat, and it hurts! I have two weird habits. One, I lick my pinky finger and put it in my ear canal to sooth an itch. I know it sounds grose, but, due to allergies, this is the only thing that works. Two, my mouth is very narrow (several Dr.'s in the dental profession have told me so), and the only way I can remove food between my gums and my back teeth, is, you guessed it, with my index finger. My tongue is too short :)!

semi anonymous said...

I used to suck my thumb while simultaneously touching my belly button; I did this for a long time, I think up until nine years old in fact (my parents took pictures even, probably b/c they thought is was so bizarre), and I didn't understand why other thumb suckers didn't also make use of their belly buttons. Does that make me weirder than Jason? Scary thought. Or maybe I'm just a natural born multi tasker. I'm sure it was a nervous habit. Or for whatever the reason is that little kids suck there thumbs. Probably weaned too early.

Andrea said...

Hi! I had to comment after reading your lip picking habit. After years of picking my lips I decided to do a search on the internet to see if anyone else out there has the same bad habit as me. When I read your site it was exactly word for word how I am with my lip picking. It's crazy that there is someone else out that exactly like me. I honestly can't stop, and like you said even though I get SO frustrated with myself I still do it because part of me enjoys it...Until I make my lips bleed, that's when I started to feel annoyed and frustrated with myself, there is only so much that lipstick and lip liner will cover. I do it for so many reasons; nervous, upset, frustrated, stressed...I don't particularly know the real reason for it, although I wish I did. Basically I just wanted to write this to let you know that you are not the only one out there with this habit!


jessica said...

Andrea--thank you for joining your voice to mine in this confession!!! I had never before heard of anybody else who does this...very interesting, huh?

At least we both have our principles, though; we stop when the lip starts to bleed.

At least, we stop for a little while, anyway;-)